Shemu Joyah’s latest production The Road to Sunrise has joined the race for the Best Foreign Language golden horn for Oscars 2019.
This follows an announcement by Malawi Oscars Selection Committee that the award-winning film is among the 87 foreign language films that will compete for the Oscars at the 91st Academy Awards scheduled for February 24 next year at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles United States of America.
The film is Malawi’s first ever entry for an Academy Award.
“The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced on Monday, October 8 2018, the 87 countries whose films are eligible to contest for one of the most prestigious non-English film awards in the world,” reads a statement from the Malawi Oscars Committee.
Joyah said in an interview the news is a big step for the Malawi film industry.
“It’s good to have the film reach the minimum required standards after an assessment. I was overjoyed when the Oscars published a list of films that had passed the quality standards phase. The team there was also impressed with the fact that Malawi and Niger are making a submission for the very first time,” he said.
Joyah said it is exciting because local filmmakers want the industry in Malawi to develop.
“The more we are visible and find ourselves with institutions like the Oscars, the better it is for us,” he said.
Having qualified for the Academy’s initial nomination phase, The Road to Sunrise will further be adjudicated with the others before making it into the final list of Oscars 2019.
Meanwhile, fans are excited with the news of a possibility of having a local movie winning the biggest awards in the global film industry.
“I hope The Road to Sunrise will make it again. All the best to Shemu Joyah and the entire crew,” responded Anastanzio Makhulula, to a Facebook post about the nomination.
Leah Wright wrote: “Yes!! Malawi has a lot of talent and Shemu Joyah and crew wow! You guys deserve it!! Thank you for setting the trend in the film industry.” n